I married at an early age and gave birth to my eldest when I was just 21 years old. She is now 29 and also a mother.
I remember the first 3 months being the hardest part of my pregnancy as I had to maintain an ideal weight and was told to avoid drinking cold concentrated juices and soda--something which wasn’t easy because when you are pregnant you tend to crave for cold drinks.
I recall my weight jumping from 90 lbs to 120 lbs during my first trimester alone, and my doctor warned me that I could face some problems if I continued to gain weight.
Unfortunately, I continued to gain weight and I started to have leg cramps which resulted to difficulty in walking and breathing. My OB Doctor advised some laboratory work ups. My potassium yielded very low. I was advised bed rest for several days and told me to eat more potatoes and bananas for they are high in potassium. I couldn’t take medicines fearing that it would have an effect on my baby.
Bananas are good, but the best source of potassium is the potato. Potatoes rank highest in potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed vegetables. A medium-sized US potato at about 5.2 ounces packs 620 mg of potassium, way more than a banana. At that size and prepared with the skin on, you’ll get only 110 calories.
Potatoes also have no fat, sodium or cholesterol. They’ve got loads of vitamin C and B-6, plus iron and fiber which help digestion and lower blood cholesterol. Potatoes are also high in folate, which is important in pregnancy for normal fetal brain and spinal cord development. Folate is needed for the development of DNA and other genetic material.
I always have mashed potatoes topped with cow’s milk cheese or kesong puti every morning. It helped with the leg cramps and stabilized my potassium level, and thankfully I didn’t have any problems in the later months of my pregnancy.
When my daughter was pregnant, she too had similar problems, good thing I still remember what my OB advised me and I told her to do the same thing which was to include potatoes in her diet to stabilize her potassium.
Benefits of Eating Potato in Pregnancy
1. Reduces Acidity
Potatoes are highly beneficial for those having digestive or acidity issues. A serving of mashed potato can help reduce gastric acidity.
2. Combats Cholesterol
The soluble fibre and vitamin C contained in potatoes help in fighting cholesterol.
3. High in Dietary Fibre
Dietary fibre is apt for pregnant women as it helps in relieving potential constipation.
4. Rich in Vitamins B and C
Vitamins contained in potatoes assists in healing wounds and boosts immunity. It helps in absorption of iron from other foods.
5. Good Source of Folate
Folic acid is significant in the development of the fetal brain and nervous system. Having folate-rich food in your early stages of pregnancy reduces your chances of having a miscarriage.
6. Contain Flavonoids
The flavonoids present in potatoes help to control the blood pressure levels.
7. Helps Fetal Development
Potatoes have high amounts of iron, calcium and potassium, which are essential for the proper growth and development of the fetus.
8. Treats Puffy Eyes
Potatoes can help treat the undereye bags, which are common during pregnancy. Placing a grated raw potato on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes gives a cooling effect and relieves the swelling.
9. Reduces Cardiovascular Disease
The skin of potato contains high amounts of potassium, which is known to reduce heart strokes and hypertension.
|Grilled Potato and Arugula Salad|
Potatoes USA, an organization that has thankfully brought US frozen, US tablestock (fresh) and US dehydrated potatoes to our shores, offers a lot of options for potato meals.
Click on www.potatogoodness.com/potato-recipes for an amazingly wide array of potato recipe options.
Sharing with you the Grilled Potato and Arugula Salad Recipe
With crisp potatoes, lemony Dijon dressing, pickled red onions and peppery arugula, this light and bright summer salad packs deliciously tangy flavor.
1 lb. small potatoes, sliced in half
drizzle of olive oil, for roasting/grilling
juice of 1/2 a small lemon
a few big handfuls of arugula (about 3 oz.)
2 tablespoons pickled onions
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Quick Pickled Red Onions
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
a few generous pinches of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves chopped garlic
juice of 1/2 a small lemon
PREPARATION Prep Time: 20min | Cook Time: 30min
Slice potatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the onion slices with sherry vinegar and salt. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat a grill pan* to high heat and brush with oil. Place the potatoes, cut side down and let them cook without moving them until nice char marks start to form (flip one to check). After one side is well cooked, flip them and add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Continue cooking until potatoes are roasted on the outside and tender in the middle. Reduce heat and cover if necessary.
(If using a grill pan without a lid, you can cover it with a small baking sheet).
Small 1” potatoes should cook for a total of approx. 20-25 minutes.
Transfer warm cooked potatoes to the large bowl and toss with the dressing.
Let cool to room temp and toss with arugula, pickled onions, capers, chives and lemon zest.
Taste and add more dressing to your liking.
Serve at room temp, or make ahead and chill.
*If using an outdoor grill, you may need a pan or grill basket so the potatoes don’t fall through the grates. You could also could boil your potatoes or roast them in the oven.
High quality US potatoes can be purchased from major supermarkets and groceries nationwide. For more information on US potatoes, you can get in touch with the local Potatoes USA-Philippines office at +632.534.8534 and firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit www.potatogoodness.com or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines.